On May 26th 1864 President Lincoln created the Montana Territory. Part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, Montana was home to many tribes including The Cheyenne, The Blackfoot, The Shoshone, The Arapaho, and The Sioux. During the Lewis and Clark expedition they noted a particularly difficult journey through the Bitterroot Mountains. With little to hunt, difficult terrain, and cold snowy conditions the Corps of Discovery met their severest test here. US settlement of the Territory begins in earnest in the 1850′s as gold is discovered. The Sioux would call this “The yellow metal that is all around but good for nothing and makes the white men go crazy.”
In 1872 Yellowstone National Park was created, where this photograph was made. A grizzly bear has just walked through the landscape following the trail you can just make out on the left. The bear made no sound left no tracks and moved very quickly. I was surprised at his stealth for being such a large animal. There are about 800 Grizzly Bears in Montana.
Yellowstone is chiefly in Wyoming but it’s Western and Northern entrances are in Montana and also shared by Idaho.
Grassy Waters Preserve 2011 Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner: Shane Srogi
I would like to thank the Mayor of West Palm Beach Jeri Muoio. Pat Painter Manager of West Palm Beach’s Watershed Management Division. Sam Dorfman Grassy Waters Preserve Program Coordinator. Pat and Sam came to talk at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre and the way they spoke about the Preserve inspired me to turn my lens toward it.
In addition I would like to thank Fatima NeJame Executive Director of the Palm Beach Photographic Centre and Steve Scherer Liaison to the Center.
Sam Dorfman did the lion’s share of work for the contest. And it would not happen every year without his efforts. Steve Scherer as Infocus group leader shouldered much of the work on the Photographic Centre’s end of things.
I would also like to thank the Judges and Show Printer for their involvement. Masters all. Raymond Gehman, Steven Nestler, and Steve Spring.
I am extremely honored to have made the Grand Prize winning photograph for the 2011 Contest. The Contest has been held for 10 years by the Grassy Waters Preserve. The Preserve is aptly described as the American Amazon and I urge everyone to go an enjoy this unique part of the Everglades ecosystem. This is the first year that it was held in conjunction with the Palm Beach Photographic Centre. I would like to thank all of my fellow photographers at the Photographic Centre who participated. The City of West Palm Beach is a true supporter of the photographic arts and the Centre is a world class facility.
Master Photographer Ralph Gibson has a show currently in the museum and I’m proud to have an image hang during his show. He was the first photographer I wrote a paper on in college so I am well acquainted with his work.
What was most inspiring about the event was the youth category getting kids involved in photography and the environment is critically important.
Osprey is in Southern Florida. Taking flight from this dead snag to swoop down on a fish.
I think the power of the still image is stronger than ever. The power to tell a story. It’s not just in a monthly magazine (although there is a place for that). It’s on your desk. It’s in the palm of your hand. It’s the democratization of photography. Do you have something to say. Pick of a camera and say it. At it’s heart the still image is about a story and if anything people want to hear more stories not less.
There is always someone who will look at a place and see $$$. A forest, a mountain, a river or species as pure profit. Hopefully the people that see the beauty of a Yellowstone or a Yosemite will put more weight on the scale than the profiteer. Your local park, the one you bring your family to for a Sunday picnic, there is someone who wants to see that as a condo development.
I just finished reading Bill Keller’s interview with Joao Silvia and Greg Marinovich at the NY Times blog LENS http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/the-inner-lives-of-wartime-photographers/ . They wrestle with photojournalism and the power of the still image. I agree with Chase Jarvis’s blog http://blog.chasejarvis.com/blog/2011/05/osama-bin-laden-debate-illustrates-the-power-of-an-image/#comment-36804 the power of a singular image is not in doubt.